Representatives of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce have just returned from a successful meeting of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in Niagara Falls. The two-day conference included presentations by elected officials from all four Provincial political parties, as well as discussion and debate on a broad range of provincial issues that are impacting businesses including skills shortages, immigration, infrastructure and red tape.
Thunder Bay successfully garnered support from OCC delegates for policy recommendations to the Ontario Government that would make the Ontario Energy Board hearings more accessible, implement a regional approach to provincial procurement reform, and extend exemptions for the non-resident speculation tax to participants in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The text of each policy resolution is available here.
The Thunder Bay Chamber also received the Outstanding Advocacy Campaign Award in recognition of the success of its advocacy on the Rethink Zoning by-law that was implemented by the City of Thunder Bay in 2022. For four years, the Chamber worked closely with City Administration and advocated to City Council to achieve the change in policy, which takes significant steps towards our shared vision of walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income neighbourhoods. The Urban Mixed-Use Zone provides flexibility to encourage small scale, pedestrian oriented businesses within established neighbourhoods while the revisions to urban low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise zones can address our shortage of affordable housing and enhance opportunities for increased neighbourhood density to improve both the environmental and economic efficiency of our community.
In addition, Nathan Lawrence, Past Chair of both the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the OCC’s Richard Dolphin Community Service Award, which is presented to a volunteer who is dedicated to community service and consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to represent their Chamber of Commerce.